Tomorrow heralds the start of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo is when writers across the globe work toward completing a novel of at least 50,000 words, between November 1 through 30.
Sounds daunting, huh?
No doubt about it, writing 50k in one month is a challenge, but it’s totally doable. A basic Google search will turn up hundreds of tips and tricks for winning NaNo, ranging from setting a daily word count goal (1667 is the daily minimum you need to win), to getting your outlining and research done beforehand. However, most of these resources don’t address why you should participate in NaNo.
The answer is simple: it will put you on the path to making money from your writing.
Now, I’m going to let you in on the great secret to making money with writing: you need to finish your projects. And, participating in NaNo will help you do just that.
Writers who make money have two things in common: they write regularly and meet their deadline. Participating in NaNo reinforces those two habits. Not only do you have a hard deadline to meet, you have a word count goal as well. While you’re participating in NaNo, you can tweak your writing process to see what works for you. Are 1667 words per day too much? Maybe you work better with a lower goal, with a few intensive writing days interspersed. Some write furiously at the start of a project, only to slow appreciably near the end. Some belt out 50k in a week or two. Really, the options are endless.
I promise you, the techniques and habits you use during NaNo will make you a better writer overall, whether your area of expertise is blogging, short stories or novel-length works. Best of all, when the dust clears on December 1 you’ll have a shiny new manuscript in your hand. Who knows, maybe you’ll create the next great American novel.